Oxbridge Lecture Series

Friday, 10 June 2016 - 6:00pm New Delhi

The British Council in collaboration with the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India is hosting the next talks in the Oxbridge Lecture Series. Three prominent Oxbridge alumni, all known for their passionate and often uncompromising views, will speak and discuss the role journalism plays in a changing India.


Panellists Mani Shankar Aiyar, Dr Radha Kumar and Dr Chandan Mitra discuss and deliberate as the Oxbridge Lecture Series grapples with the form and function of reporting and journalism.

Topic of the discussion: Journalism in India - Supporting Good Governance or Merely Providing Entertainment



Mani Shankar Aiyar

Mani Shankar Aiyar is a former Indian diplomat turned politician. He is a member of the Indian National Congress and has been a member of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and been part of the Union Cabinet. Mani read for his BA Tripos in Economics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, which also in due course led to his MA from Cambridge.

Dr Radha Kumar

Dr Radha Kumar, Director General of the Delhi Policy Group, is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peace-making and peace-building. She was also one of the three interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir appointed by the Cabinet Committee on Security of the Government of India. She read for a BA and MA from Cambridge before going on to do her PhD at JNU.

Dr Chandan Mitra

Presently editor and managing director of The Pioneer newspaper in Delhi, India, Dr Chandan Mitra was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha between August 2003 and August 2009. He was elected to another term in the Rajya Sabha, as a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Madhya Pradesh, in June 2010.

In 1984 he was awarded a doctorate degree at Oxford University, where he was a member of Magdalen College, for the thesis "Political mobilisation and the nationalism movement in India – a study of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, 1936-1942" written under supervision of the noted Indian historian Dr Tapan Raychaudhuri

Mitra started in journalism as Assistant Editor with The Statesman in Kolkata before he moved to the Times of India in Delhi and then The Sunday Observer, he went on to become Editor of the paper, and later moved to the Hindustan Times as Executive Editor. Mitra left to join The Pioneer as Editor, and eventually bought control of the newspaper from the Thapar family in 1998 when industrialist L. M. Thapar decided to cut his losses




The speakers will be introduced by Shashank Vira, President of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India.